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Water Icicle Close Cavern: Breakthrough
Report From: Simon Brooks.
Report Date: 16/12/2009.
Published: 16/12/2009.

On Saturday 5th December 2009 Keith Slatcher, Pete Collins and Karen Slatcher (OCC) made a breakthrough at the OCC Dig in the Aven Choke at the end of NW Passage.  The following Saturday (12th Dec) the team were joined by Simon Brooks and Paul Lydon and the new extension was surveyed and photographed to yield 297m of fine walking size phreatic passages etc with some good ongoing leads.  Cavers are respectfully asked to resist visiting this find for the time being as further stabilisation work is required in the choke, exploration is still ongoing and the new passages needs taping to protect the fragile yet beautifully decorated floors etc.  More updates soon.   

If anyone needs more information about any of the above thay can contact me via simonbrooks@peakdistrictcaving.info

Keith Slatcher in the main passage of the December 2009 Water Icicle Close Cavern extension.
Photo: Simon Brooks. 12th December 2009
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Pete Collins and Keith Slatcher in the December 2009 Water Icicle Close Cavern extension.
Photo: Simon Brooks. 12th December 2009
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Karen Slatcher at the start of the main passage in the December 2009 Water Icicle Close Cavern extension.
Photo: Simon Brooks. 12th December 2009
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Pete Collins near the end of the main passage in the December 2009 Water Icicle Close Cavern extension.
Photo: Simon Brooks. 12th December 2009
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Water Icicle Close Cavern: Update
Report From: Keith Slatcher via Simon Brooks OCC.
Report Date: 21/12/2009.
Published: 22/12/2009.

Keith Slatcher and Pete Collins (OCC) dropped the pitch that goes off to the east side of the new section of main passage to a total depth of a conservative 21m. The pitch drops into a rift averaging approx 2.5m wide at the bottom, 16.5m long. There has obviously been a huge amount of water down it, the floor is covered in loose rock, with a c2.5m drop into a c3m round "bowl" at one end (the other end is solid rock walls). This bowl obviously continues down, but is boulder choked. A smallish rift leading off shows promise, and the start of another drop down. The problem is that the walls of the pitch are shattered with huge amounts of hanging death everywhere, including above you as you ab down.... Therefore activities will for the time being be focused on the two other main leads. This takes the total length of the Water Icicle Extension from 297m to 317m.

Next report 10/2010

Gautries Hole: Breakthrough
Report From: Grape vine.
Report Date: 29/11/2009.
Published: 12/12/2009.

Towards the end of November members of the Eldon PC had a look at the mud sump in the chamber at the end of Gautries Hole finding it had dried up. Remarkably a small amount of digging soon lead to a breakthrough entering around 170m of new cave and a static sump. This is trending north-east down the valley towards the other swallets. Exploration continues and a full report will appear soon.

Gautries Hole: Update
Report From: John Taylor.
Report Date: 14/12/2009.
Published: 15/12/2009.

The static sump was dived on Sunday 13th by John Taylor and Jules Barret supported by the Gautries digging team. 15m of line was laid in zero vis. A body sized tube descended to -5m and a slight enlargement, ascending to -3.8m into a low silty bedding with no natural line belays. A return with silt screws and smaller cylinders is planned.

Bottle Pot: Breakthrough
Report From: Simon Brooks.
Report Date: 16/12/2009.
Published: 16/12/2009.

In April 2009 Mick Chambers and Nigel Nix from the Orpheus Caving Club started a new dig in the Upper Dove/Dowel Dale Area of the Peak District in the vicinity of Stoop Farm.  The dig that is located in a shakehole near to the farm has been named 'Bottle Pot' on account of the fact that several intact 'Offilers' Beer Bottles have been found in the digging spoil, a brand of beer that has not been on sale for at least 45 to 50 years.  The first few month digging revealed a 5m deep rift that entered a small chamber and a sloping bedding passage this led to a 7.7m deep pot with digging continuing at its base.  On Sunday 22nd October the Orpheus Diggers (Ken Morton, Mick Chambers, Pete Wagstaff and Nigel Nix) made a breakthrough.  Enlarging a descending rift tube they broke into the head of a fine 14 pitch that descended into some old phreatic passage.    The current end of the cave is a mud filled rift in the floor where the water can be heard draining away.  Further digging may be possible, but will be difficult due to lack of stacking space and the amount of mud fill.  Bottle Pot has two pitches the first of 7.7m followed by the second of 14m and it currently has a total length 59.9m and a depth of 31m.   

If anyone needs more information about any of the above thay can contact me via simonbrooks@peakdistrictcaving.info

The Main Passage in Bottle Pot beyond the Fallen Slab.
Photo: Simon Brooks. November 2009
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The Main Passage in Bottle Pot.
Photo: Simon Brooks. November 2009
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